She spent a decade conquering the Toronto fashion scene as a notable stylist on high-profile editorial shoots for FASHION Magazine, Flare, and Style By Jury. For many, the level of notoriety that follows would be enough. However, for Rachel Bies of Rachel Bies Nutrition, not even the glitz, the glamour or the dolla dolla bills were enough to prevent her from pursuing her whole-hearted life.
Today, Rachel is one of the city’s hottest chefs, a registered nutritionist, teacher, writer, philanthropist, and this month’s #Truboss. I am grateful for her friendship and I’m proud to call her my platonic wife for life.
Rachel is less than a month away from launching her brand new venture in the digital sphere – a meal service called Nourish and Glow!
I checked in with the Ottawa native to get the low down on her latest project before it launches on October 6th, and to learn more about how she became the #Truboss she is today.
BT: Congratulations on the launch of Nourish and Glow! Tell us about the app and what inspired you to create it.
RB: The App/Website is a membership ($10 month/$100 annual) community that delivers weekly healthy meal plans, easy to navigate grocery lists, several delicious recipes with tons of videos and support. Essentially, it is like having a Nutritionist and Whole Foods Chef in your life without the price tag.
Michelle (my business partner) and I came up with the idea for Nourish and Glow after spending a lot of time with private clients. We realized that our knowledge and specialties can be shared on a larger scale to bring awareness of health and wellness. This idea stemmed from our love of food, wanting to get people back into their kitchens, reducing waste and spending more time with their families.
Eating well doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming.
BT: Is this an app that applies to different lifestyles?
RB: Absolutely. We’ve designed it in a way that if you’re vegan, vegetarian, flex, paleo – the plans would be super approachable and easy. Every recipe is naturally gluten-free (most good foods are) and flexitarian ( a mixture of vegetarian with quality proteins) – with easy substitution, if you want to remove animal proteins, dairy, etc.
Also it’s an ideal plan for those who are busy but want to EAT, LIVE & FEEL great!
BT: You had a very successful career in fashion for many years and gave it up to pursue a career as a chef and nutritionist. It takes a lot of courage to pursue a brand new venture. What inspired you to leave the familiar behind and start anew?
RB: Food was always a big part of my life growing up and in my adult life, so in that aspect, it just made sense. I was at a point in my life where it was time to leave the high life of fashion and swap it with steady hours and more local focus. I always wanted to go back to school as well (I’m not so secretly a super nerd). I combined those needs with the love and support of friends and family and that gave me the strength to start a new career. Plus, Tim Ferriss is an inspiration for changing up careers a few times in my life!
BT: You have partnered with notable brands on a national level. How important is collaboration this day and age when it comes to building your own brand?
RB: I’ve been super fortunate in this aspect – we’ve worked and been approached by the best local and national companies who have the same values as us: support local, quality vs. quantity and giving back. I think you need to be careful with whom you partner with. You should also have many conversations to make sure you both have the same forecast and intentions. That being said – I’ve also partnered with companies that have the potential to be our everyday match because it tests us on how we fuse RBN and each company. It keeps us on our toes!
BT: One #Truboss I admire is Ariana Huffington. She once said, “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes — understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” How good is that? Can you share a disappointing moment in your career that you believe attributed to your success today?
RB: I’ve been burned by partnerships before – once I linked and jumped in too quickly without having the conversation about intentions. I felt taken advantage of for content and my personal and respected contacts. There was also some plagiarism. Because of this, I’ve really learned who I can work with and who I won’t associate with. You end up spending so much time and space with these people so you better trust, like and respect them!
BT: There isn’t a secret sauce to success but many successful women do have habits that stand out from others. What habits would you say contributed to your success?
RB: Pretty simple things –
- Lemon water and a 15 minute chill in the morning to start the day – I try not to look at phone/emails the very first thing.
- Movement: Running, yoga, anything – free therapy at its finest. Plus I’m in the west end and surrounded by greenery and parks. Entrepreneurial life can be stressful, so taking some ME time is necessary.
- Eat well and often: I get hangry and lose focus easily, so I eat well and often to prevent this. Quality foods too – great proteins, carbs, and healthy fats. LOTS OF WATER.
- Balance: This being said those who know me well know that I love red wine and cheese – it’s my kryptonite. I don’t believe in being over rigid in anything, disciplined yes…but balance makes for a happy life!
- In the words of Taylor Swift: Shake it OFF! I have a habit of over-thinking and analyzing – when this happens I shake it off, have a 30-second dance party and try to realize by tomorrow my problem won’t matter!
BT: Who is your favourite female #Truboss and why?
RB: Ha ha Beyoncé? I don’t think I can pick one. I’m surrounded by powerful, driven and inspiring women; Teachers, Film, Directors of Food and Beverage, Media, PR and Entrepreneurs: I mean come on. My #TRUBosses are my support system and best female friends, so I look within my own community. And Beyonce.
BT: When the going gets tough, what is your favourite go-to mantra?
RB: I have 3:
- Practice gratitude and not get too caught up in the thick of things.
- Calm the F down.
- “Be the change you wish to see in the World” – Ghandi. This is on my bathroom mirror so I see it before bed and when I wake up.
BT: What is one piece of advice you can offer aspiring female entrepreneurs who are looking for a little push to launch their own business?
RB: Don’t carve anything in stone. I mean this in the way that you may think you’ve figured out your path or role BUT you must roll with it. Experiment, say Yes to opportunities that aren’t safe, read, travel, find a mentor. When I started my nutrition degree – what I thought RBN was going to be and what it ended up being changed about 45 times in 2 years! I was open, asked the universe for guidance, put my hands into everything and went with it. Be flexible and don’t be scared to try new things. IT IS WORTH IT!
BT: At the end of the day, what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind with Rachel Bies Nutrition?
RB: Honestly – I just really want to get people back into their kitchens. As a kid, I was always in the kitchen cooking or baking with my parents which have had a lasting effect on how I eat and live now. Getting your kids, partner, and friends in the kitchen is a great bonding tool, it’s fun and educational. I’ve witnessed people do a 1-80 not realizing how much they like cooking! Cooking should be fun, sexy and approachable – which is another selling point of Nourish and Glow!
Oh and maybe a cookbook or two.